Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Your first lesson

Learning how to play the keyboard is not that difficult. When I started, my very first lesson looked like this:

The first important concept is getting to know the notes on the keyboard. As can be seen above, there are only 12 unique keys on any keyboard or piano. In the picture, considering only the white keys, it starts with C at the far left and if you ascend upwards towards the right, it ends on B and repeats itself at C and so on...Please note that you get different size keyboards, hence your keys may start at different notes.

The second thing to notice is the black keys. There are two black keys between C-D and D-E. There are three black keys between F-G, G-A and A-B. These normally are referred to as either a sharp or a flat. When you ascend it will become the sharp of the previous key, and when it descends, it will become the flat of that key, e.g. C# if you go a semi-tone upwards from C and Db if you go a semi-tone downwards from D.

A semi-tone is when you were to change a key pitch with half a note, e.g. from C to C# or E to F. A whole tone is when you were to change a key pitch with a whole note, e.g. From C to D or F to G.

The third concept is to understand scales? Scales are a series of notes that differs in pitch as you ascend or descend on the keyboard or piano. It normally continues for a whole octave, meaning 8 notes. It starts at the first note and moves through seven notes and usually ends up at the first note, an octave higher. The first scale to learn is always the major scale in a particular key. Please note that all 12 keys has its own major scale. We will focus on the key of C for illustration purposes:  


This only consists of the white keys. Note that there is a pattern: W-W-H-W-W-H, where W is a whole tone and H is a half tone shift.

You can apply the pattern to all other keys and end up with a major scale in that particular key. This is how easily you could start practicing all 12 keys!

Now that you know the scales, what about the fingering? What fingers would you use in order to play these notes.

Well, number your fingers through the following illustration:

Here is the C scale again with the particular finger number as a subtext:

RH: C(1)-D(2)-E(3)-F(1)-G(2)-A(3)-B(4)-C(5)

LH: C(5)-D(4)-E(3)-F(2)-G(1)-A(3)-B(2)-C(1)

Hope you enjoyed this lesson. Feel free to comment or subscribe to my mail list to your top right hand side.

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